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Members of the NCIS cast have been patiently biding their time and keeping busy with personal projects as they wait to go back work, and with restrictions on filming loosening in California, it could be any day now that Mark Harmon, Wilmer Valderrama and the rest of the show’s stars get cranking on Season 18. Obviously, with Season 17 cut a little short, we’re dying to know how NCIS will pick up where it left off, and what kind of twists and turns are coming. In hopes of learning more about what we’ll see when it’s back, TV Guide spoke with executive producer Frank Cardea and Gina Monreal, a co-executive producer, who shared some insight on what we can expect. (Note: this interview took place in April, before the death of George Floyd prompted global protests and police shows faced renewed scrutiny or, like Cops, cancellation.)
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Gibbs will be a more emotionally open leader.
As reported previously, Gibbs’ experiences in the tear-jerking last episode will lead him to be more transparent about his emotions. Of course, emotional vulnerability is not something we’ve known Gibbs to be — and it’s doesn’t mean “weak” either. “One thing about the Gibbs character,” Monreal said, “he’s constantly evolving.” Added Cardea: “I think he’s going to be taking some risks and chances he never would have taken before.”
A big milestone episode will be a flashback.
NCIS was set to air its 400th episode this season, a monumental achievement the producers, writers, cast and crew had obviously been looking forward to. Though plans were put on hold, that whopper of a birthday is going to be celebrated as soon as possible, and the plans are for that episode to be a flashback. “It’s about how Gibbs and Ducky met,” Cardea said. “It’s a case that brings them back. There are wonderful moments and we see how Ducky and Gibbs met under strange circumstances.”
— NCIS (@NCIS_CBS) March 26, 2020
Sloane is probably safe, for now.
There’s a theory among NCIS fans that Jacqueline “Jack” Sloane (Maria Bello) might be meeting her demise soon — supposedly in Season 17. According to the conspiracies, Sloane’s would-be death at the end of the season would’ve closed it on a dramatic note, keeping Gibbs in an unnerved state that’s more interesting for the series. Alleged details of her reported contract been part of sleuths’ story too. Clearly, it’s not possible for her to die in Season 17 since that’s now over, but when asked if Sloane might die as the show moves forward, Cardea laughed it off. “We never talk about what we’re going to do,” he said adding that if word got out that Sloane’s death was in the cards, they wouldn’t do it. That’s not quite a denial, but it’s also a hint this rumor doesn’t have much merit.
NCIS aired its last episode of Season 17 before a hiatus on April 14. Past episodes are streaming on CBS All Access.